A Literary Agent's View on Wattpad & Traditional Publishing



Lol I have one of those. They went through a binge voted for like 5 of my books but didnt leave a single comment. I was screaming st the screen “why for you no talk!” LOL but I just remind myself at least they voted. Not only that but they did so for multiple books. What more can I really ask?

Silent or vocal, readers are still reading and that’s what matters. I’ve done something right for them to keep coming back.


It just doesn’t tell us what we really need to know. And as my problems suggest, a lack of communication and understanding has been hindering my ability to reach out to people who so far have remained unable or unwilling to listen .

And therein lies my frustrations as both a writer and as an author.

Schuyler, I have spoken kindly to you on multiple occasions, reached out to you in pm and on the threads, and all you’ve done is refused to listen to me and then gone on to bash what I said to you in another thread about your book, even when it was done kindly and based entirely around my personal tastes and not your writing quality. You don’t listen either. Your immediate reaction is to berate and demean those who do reach out to you or don’tsay exactly what you want to hear, and you haven’t done a kind thing back to me.

If you ever want someone to read your story as a beta, I’ve offered before, go ahead and reach out and PM me. I’ll give it a shot, tell me what you want me to focus on and I’ll do that. I’ll continue to do my absolute best to speak kindly to you in threads, but I’m not reaching out anymore because all I’m doing is derailing threads. I’m still here if you want to make a writing buddy, but I’ve done the reaching out. At this point it’s up to you. This is a conversation best continued through PM.

Now, to the topic at hand… As a reader, I don’t necessarily need an author to get back to me and personally connect to me all the time. What I do like though, is to know that they’ve done the bare minimum to be avilable. I expect an author website with an “About Me”, maybe an update section, an email and their books well organized. If the have an Instagram, that’s an immediate follow for me if I like the author as I use Inatagram as my social media platform. (I’m writing YA and a lot of that demographic is on Instagram. I have yet to see if it works or if I’m just in an echo chamber of fellow writers but hey, at least I’m making buddies!) I’ve never gotten into Twitter, don’t think I will.


Twitter has a feature that allows you to filter out specific words, tags etc.

You can even narrow things down more by following certain lists etc. Like, I follow a ‘wattpader’ list, a ‘amediting list’ etc. I use those things to make sure that only wattpad, tapas, and book related things fill my timeline.


I see, that makes a lot of sense. Do you have specific words/tags that you personally filter out (because negativity is known to be attached to them)?


Oh gosh yeah. I haven’t experienced this much with online readers yet, but I’ve had people I know IRL read my stuff and only say, “It was good!” Which is sweet of them, but somehow worse than no response at all because internally I’m like, That’s all? What are they not saying? This must mean there’s something horribly wrong with my writing.


Whaaaat? I didn’t know this!


It does! Let me see if I can grab a screenshot.

@nobelgia If some drama is trending i just block the tag. At a point I blocked #booktube because those people have drama like every other minute.


Under notification settings, in quality filter.



I’m a huge introvert too, but believe me when you reach for your readers, it’s totally worth it. I actually got a friend from that (even thought they left wattpad the last year, but we still follow eachoder on twitter) and someone who was only following because of one story but ended up cheeking the other ones.


This thread is so interesting. I’m having a blast reading it


Thanks! I’ll have to mess around with that.


Thanks. I’ll be looking into this more.


Bookmark for good note and thank you for sharing this :smiley:


Not only does she say it wouldn’t negate your chances, she explicitly said:

“It doesn’t matter if your work has been on any of these sites. You just need to tell me about it in the query.”

There you go. Post away on Wattpad or Tapas or whatever. Doesn’t matter.


The part of her answer I’m guessing you’re referring to is this:

It doesn't matter if your work has been on any of these sites. You just need to tell me about it in the query. The reason you need to tell me is that if we work together to sell your book, I have to tell the editor.

You can indeed interpret that first sentence as “posting on these sites doesn’t matter,” so if that’s the case, I totally see where you’re coming from. I’d be happy if that were the case!

I’m not certain, but I personally think what she means there is “if your work has been posted on any of these sites, don’t let that stop you from querying; just make sure you mention it up front.”

However, the part of her answer from which I’m pulling the conclusion in my original post is the following text:

And we must make sure any publishing contract reflects the fact that this work has been previously published. Previously published is NOT a deal breaker; we just need to adjust the contract language.

I’m interpreting “previously published” to mean a piece of content that has been published before, AKA has used the “first rights” already.

If you read other sources about trying to get “previously published” works published, you’ll find people saying that it’s more difficult to get said work published vs. something that hasn’t been published anywhere; there are agents, publishers, and publications that won’t even consider previously published work.

That said, the degree of added difficulty is uncertain, and querying a previously published work doesn’t guarantee rejection, so it’s up to you to decide how much that matters to you.


She’s talking about the actual contract language. That needs to be precise - ie, Tor books can’t claim first publication rights to a book (as they would in a contract, if those rights still exist) if a book is not eligible to give those rights. But she says over and over again that publishing on story sharing sites doesn’t matter. If it did, she would say that.


That’s a fair and equally valid interpretation. Again, I’m perfectly happy with being wrong. While I still feel my own interpretation is also valid, I’ll edit my original post to draw less attention away from my own words. My main intention here is to spread potentially helpful information from an expert.


Right. And thank you. I suppose everyone can read her response and draw their own conclusions - for me, it is unambiguous. When directly responding to your question:

1. How do agents and publishers feel about work that has been previously posted online? (if the work posted online is the same work being queried)

It doesn’t really matter

There are more than a few authors who have transitioned to traditional publishing from these newish online publishing platforms. They generally had a Wattpad readership north of six figures.

It doesn’t matter if your work has been on any of these sites. You just need to tell me about it in the query.

Previously published is NOT a deal breaker; we just need to adjust the contract language.

She’s trying to be as direct as possible - there’s no reason for her to rely on inference on your part as to whether she’s being completely upfront - it does not matter. she repeats that. If it did, she would say so.


Re-reading her post, her answers to the two numbered questions stand out to me. I agree that those answers feel unambiguous.

I remember thinking this morning, when I first read it, that it was curious she’d omitted that part of the email, and you can see in the earlier comments on that post that other people came to a similar conclusion as I had (focusing on the “previously published” part).

It’s possible that her post was edited to include those answers for further clarification, but I think it’s more likely that I may have missed those answers the first time around.


It pretty much is these days. The amount of interactions with various people all over helps spread the word faster hence why it’s more beneficial in the long run.

As for Twitter, keeping up with writers from all over the world has its perks too. Inspiring a lot of people can tend to help market things. There’s many techniques, you just have to find what you find comforting and works best for you :slight_smile:

It’s all about experimentation :wink: